Vitality Netball Superleague: Strathclyde Sirens shows his credentials in the play-offs with Mavericks victory | Netball News

The Scottish franchise moves up to fifth in the standings after winning and losing Leeds Rhinos Netball; Round 18 coverage continues Monday with two matches, live on Sky Sports Mix from 5 p.m. and streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel

Last update: 05/30/21 7:38 PM

Strathclyde Sirens won over the Saracens Mavericks to continue rocking the playoff race (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

Strathclyde Sirens once again highlighted their playoff credentials with an impressive victory over the Saracens Mavericks at the Copper Box Arena.

The Scottish franchise, which now occupies fifth place in the standings, showed exceptional composure and maturity to secure its 41-35 victory. Meanwhile, Kat Ratnapala once again highlighted the Mavericks’ inconsistency as one of the reasons for their loss.

Both teams remain in search of the last remaining place in the playoffs, however, and while the sirens may stand for the remainder of the round, the Mavericks are due to return to court on Monday against the fourth-placed Wasps.

Earlier today, Leeds Rhinos Netball lost to Loughborough Lightning, while Manchester Thunder finished the proceedings with a second victory of the weekend.

Vitality Netball Superleague – Matchday 18 Results

Loughborough Lightning 59-51 Leeds Rhinos Netball
Saracens Mavericks 35-41 Strathclyde Sirens
Manchester Thunder 57-41 Surrey Storm
Leeds Rhinos Netball vs. Surrey Storm
Saracens Mavericks vs Wasps

The calm of the sirens gives a key result

Strathclyde Sirens midfielder continues to excel (Image credit - Ben Lumley)

Strathclyde Sirens midfielder continues to excel (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

Strathclyde Sirens players have shown an incredible level of focus in order to keep the Saracens Mavericks at bay and put pressure on those around them in the board.

Karen Atkinson’s team were unfazed on the pitch and unlike their opponents, they always knew how to combine flair and precision.

From the first whistle to the last, Beth Dix anchored them in attack alongside the exceptional Gia Abernethy, while Towera Vinkhumbo was at her best in defense and Emma Barrie shone in the shooting circle.

Quarter by quarter scores

T1 T2 T3 T4 FT
Maverick Saracens 6 ten 9 ten 35
Strathclyde Sirens 9 ten ten 12 41

With the game set at 19-16 after 24 minutes, both teams knew how crucial the third quarter would be, both for the current game and potentially for their respective seasons.

The Mavericks used the opening minutes of the third to level up, converting turnovers from Jo Trip and Razia Quashie back to form.

After that it got a bit messy for a few minutes and the mermaids were the first to regain their composure and composure. They pressed hard on defense again, Taylor Cullen setting their intensity, and they forced the Mavericks to another personnel change.

Britney Clarke’s introduction to the shooter and Kadeen Corbin’s move to Georgia initially sparked Mavericks. However, over time they started to force things again on offense.

On the other hand, the seven of the sirens remained installed and focused on themselves. They avoided the trap of being dragged into the faster pace and instead played the ball and continued to find the always precise Barrie in the circle.

Vitality Netball Superleague: Strathclyde Sirens shows his credentials in the play-offs with Mavericks victory | Netball News

We just worked really hard and I think everyone can see it this year. It’s built, it’s such a good feeling and we are so happy. Our captain said it all, she said we were a big gun and we were ready. It’s exciting.

Beth Dix (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

Vitality Netball Superleague race for the top four

Wasps (4th) Sirens Strathclyde (5th) Leeds Rhino (6th) Saracens non-conformists (7th)
Points: 31 Points: 29 Points: 27 Points: 25
May 29 Team bath (L)
May 30 Maverick Saracens (F) Loughborough Lightning (G) Strathclyde Sirens (G)
May 31st Maverick Saracens Surrey storm wasps
June 13 Surrey storm Celtic Dragons Team bath
June 14 London Pulse
June 20 Manchester Thunder London Pulse Surrey storm
June 21st Celtic Dragons

Rhino Momentum

Ella Clark was a game-changer for Loughborough Lightning (Image credit - Ben Lumley)

Ella Clark was a game-changer for Loughborough Lightning (Image credit – Ben Lumley)

Loughborough Lightning started the Leeds Rhinos Netball momentum on Sunday afternoon as the three Superleague finalists won 59-51 over Dan Ryan’s outfit.

Lightning, who has already qualified for this year’s semifinals, overcame a slow start and an inspired third quarter set the stage for his ninth consecutive victory.

For Rhinos, the loss has opened up the race for the playoffs even more, but their head coach remains positive about their chances.

Quarter by quarter scores

T1 T2 T3 T4 FT
Loughborough Lightning 12 14 19 14 59
Leeds Rhino Netball 12 14 12 13 51

“We just have to take care of our own business, which has been our process all season,” Ryan told Sky sports.

“We will think deeply enough about this game, but we will wake up tomorrow and have an emphatic performance against Storm. It has always been a question of answer for us and with three games to go we are looking for three good performances.”

Throughout the first half, both teams went through nerves.

Lightning struggled early on and their nervousness gave the Superleague’s most recent francise a 6-1 lead. Then the Rhinos’ nerves arrived in the second quarter after equalizing the scores.

Throughout the first half, when both teams were active, they produced exceptional netball; with Mary Cholhok and Donnell Wallam superbly fed by their respective attacking units.

With nothing between them at half-time, a few early mistakes gave the Lightning an advantage early in the second half. And, although Rhinos brought them back, Clark became more and more influential as the quarter progressed.

The international doubles’ ability to play what’s in front of them and land their own shots was the catalyst for Lightning’s wave of wins. To add insult to injury, the Rhinos lost co-captain Fi Toner to a bad fall and in the end they were unable to produce another comeback in the finals.

The hard break-in is probably good for us; we’ll play Thunder and Bath and then we’ll probably play one of them again [in the semi-final]. The girls will be tough in combat and they must learn to absorb the pressure. We did it today and we’ll have to do it again for the next couple of weeks … it’s going to be fun.

In the last match of the day, Manchester Thunder added another victory to their season tally as they outscored Surrey Storm.

After reserving a place for the play-offs on Sunday, the 2019 champions tense their muscles after half-time in order to erase Storm’s efforts.

A 16-10 third quarter proved crucial and for the last 12 minutes Karen Greig continued to give minutes to her youngsters, including defender Millie Saunders, who made her Superleague debut on Saturday.

Sky Sports is your home of netball. The Vitality Netball Superleague continues Monday with the final two matches of Round 18, live on Sky Sports Mix and streamed on the Sky Sports YouTube channel starting at 5 p.m.

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